Wayne and Jean Bowerman were lucky to escape uninjured after a Douglas fir crashed onto their home during Monday’s storm. However

Couple lose their home, but are glad to be alright

Campbell River couple avoid injury after fir crashes onto their trailer during storm

Jean Bowerman awoke at 6:30 a.m. Monday to the sound of a tree crashing through her home.

“I heard ‘bang!’ and the whole trailer shook,” said Bowerman who lives in an RV with her husband at Shelter Bay Resort. Wayne yelled ‘get the hell out of there!’”

In the midst of one the biggest storms in years, a Douglas fir had  crashed through the back end of their 28-foot Travelaire.

Bowerman was asleep at the front of the RV while Wayne was standing in the kitchen making coffee when he heard a loud crack.

He went to investigate and just as he got out the door, the tree landed on their  home, crashing into the kitchen and crumpling the stove.

“If he hadn’t moved the tree would’ve been right there on top of him. He wouldn’t have made it,” Bowerman said.

Unfortunately, the Bowermans did not have insurance and the RV cannot be fixed.

The couple managed to salvage some clothes, their bedding and food while their power was out, but as of Wednesday afternoon the power was back on and the Bowermans couldn’t get in the RV because a live wire, brought down by the tree, was hanging precariously on their home.

The couple is now homeless but have been temporarily taken in by a neighbour. It’s a small space – a Winnebago – but it’s a roof over their heads.

“At times Wayne and I have been homeless and we bought this trailer and said we’d never be homeless again and guess what? Now it’s gone, just like that it came down,” Bowerman said, getting choked up.

But she is putting things into perspective, “We would’ve been dead if the bed was on the other end.”

After the tree went down, Bowerman said she made it to work at the Husky gas station on the Island Highway, only to find there was no power.

“We went down to the ocean with the truck and the spray was so high that I think it scared me more than the tree,” she said.

Now the Bowermans are waiting to get back in their RV to take what they can. Bowerman said she’s not sure where her and her husband will go.

“We’re hoping to be able to find a trailer by the end of the month but I don’t know,” Bowerman said. “We’ll just have to find something we can afford. I would like to have another trailer though because I really enjoyed living in it.”

Bowerman also thinks highly of Shelter Bay Resort.

“The folks have been really nice to us, it’s a very nice place to live.”

The Mirror first caught up with Bowerman last May when she took it upon herself to go around town with donation jars to collect money to buy a scooter for an ailing friend.

Now it’s Bowerman’s who’s in need.

But she is not the only victim of Monday’s powerful winds.

Monday’s epic storm wreaked havoc all over the city. In one incident, a tree fell onto a modular home, trapping a 10-year-old boy between the roof structure and the furniture. Firefighters rescued the boy, who was not seriously injured, within 30 minutes.

At Timberline school, a tree came down into a classroom minutes after school had been cancelled. The destruction has caused the displacement of classrooms to portables. Numerous vehicles were also damaged by falling trees, with one report of a trucker being trapped in his vehicle as trees fell down on his truck.

Most of the city was also without power, anywhere from one day to three days. As of Wednesday evening, power was expected to be restored to Quadra and Cortes islands.

Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, said the storm “may have been record setting in terms of damage to Campbell River.”

He acknowledged Hydro crews did the best they could to restore power.